Barbara: Love Thyself

I’ve been reading Mary Oliver lately. Her poetry is grounded in the natural world, and the wisdom that conveys.  One of her most beloved poems is Wild Geese, which begins:

Sweet peas from my garden

Sweet peas from my garden

“You do not have to be good.


You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.”

Sometimes when I read this, it makes me cry.

I have a friend I meet for coffee after church most Sundays.  We’re both metaphysical adherents, and we go to Unity in the Rockies, which my son Miles calls “hippie church.”

Anyway,  a few weeks ago, Heather and I both wearied, all at once, of the endless push toward “bettering” ourselves.  You know, trying to be wiser, kinder, more prosperous, skinnier (me), and have a better job (her).  So last week we agreed to embark on a program of simple acceptance.  I won’t divulge her goals, but my only task was to accept myself as I am, right now, in this very minute.  No making resolutions, no giving up all the bad foods and drinks, no battering myself to go to the gym even if I didn’t feel like it or go to bed early or get up early or anything else.  Continue reading

Jenny: The Family You Make

I met Anne Stuart online first through the GEnie RomEx boards in 1993.  My first book was just out; she was on her . . . I don’t know, fiftieth maybe?  Of course she’d been publishing since she was eight (not kidding), and I didn’t publish my first until I was 43, so she had a headstart.  She was a role model and a mentor; she talked me through bad times, gave me great career advice, and told me who to get for my first agent.  She was wonderful.   Continue reading